Gov. Quinn Urges Lawmakers to Consider Legalizing Gay Marriage

CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn says he hopes a bill allowing gay marriage in Illinois moves through the General Assembly next month.

Lawmakers gather Jan. 2 for what promises to be a busy lame duck session that includes considering a bill allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses and a pension overhaul. New lawmakers are sworn in Jan. 9.

Earlier this year, legislators filed the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act." It eliminates the part of state law that explicitly prohibits gay marriages and would offer same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples.

Quinn said Monday that lawmakers should study the issue carefully. He signed a bill last year legalizing civil unions, but 25 gay couples are suing over the state's gay-marriage ban.


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